Addresses Given at Japan Disaster Commemorative Events in Taiwan

by Ishibashi Hideo, Kyodan moderator

 

“If one part of the body suffers, all parts suffer with it.”

(1 Cor. 12:26) These words inspired the 1,400 churches of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) to pray for and give generous financial support for the Great East Japan Disaster relief work. Of the 230 million yen contributed by all foreign sources to the Kyodan for relief work, 82 million of that came from these Taiwanese churches. During the month of March this year, near the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami, the Kyodan held special events around the nation to commemorate the disaster, and Rev. Pusin Tali, the PCT moderator, came toJapanto deliver a message at one of those events. The PCT also invited the Kyodan moderator to give the message at special events held inTaiwanto commemorate the second anniversary of the disaster.

 

Three separate events were held: the first inTaipeion March 24, the second in Hsinchu on March 25, and the third in Taiochung on March 26. There are 17 PCT-related hospitals inTaiwan, and most of those are quite large operations. I was really impressed by both the scale of the operations and how they begin their days with a morning worship service and witness to the gospel through their medical services. The meeting in Hsinchu was held in a church and the other two others in the chapels of the hospitals. I was also deeply moved by the wonderful praise music of various choirs, including those made up of hospital staff, church members, a women’s chorus, and the Amin tribe choir wearing their traditional costumes. I was really surprised to hear “Sen no kaze ni natte” (English title: “Do not stand at my grave and weep”), a hit song inJapan, sung in Japanese by the women’s chorus. Thus, in each of these gatherings, the people expressed their heartfelt sincerity to comfortJapanin the midst of the pain caused by the Great East Japan Disaster. One of the PCT staff persons guiding me around even presented me with a gift of a flag sold in an ordinary shop that had printed on it, “NO NUKES, NO moreFukushima.”

 

There are four nuclear power plants inTaiwan, located 30 to 40 km. away fromTaipei. Therefore, if an accident similar to the one inFukushimaever occurred, the seriousness of the situation would threaten the very existence of the country. Thus, there is real sympathy with the description of negative effects on children’s health caused by the nuclear plant accident inJapan. At the Easter services of all PCT churches, collection envelopes were passed out to all in attendance, asking everyone to make a contribution for relief work for the Great East Japan Disaster.

 

On behalf of Kyodan, I repeatedly expressed my deepest appreciation to the PCT for its prayers and financial assistance, as it empathized with our deep sorrow and pain. I used the Taiwanese word, “Chin-to-sia,” which expresses the highest form of gratitude. (Tr. KY)

 

「一つの部分が苦しめば、全ての部分が共に苦しみ」(第一コリント12章26節)この御言葉を示し、台湾基督長老教会(PCT)1400の教会に東日本大震災の祈りと献金が訴えられ、海外募金2億3千万円の内、8千200万円の献金を教団に献げてくださった。教団では各地で東日本大震災を覚える特別集 会が(三月に)もたれたが、PCT布興大立総会議長が日本を訪問してくださり、日本の特別集会で説教をしてくださった。さらにPCTでも東日本大震災二周年特別集会を開いてくださり教団議長を招いてくださり、説教の奉仕をした。

 

3月24日は台北地区、25日は新竹地区、26日は台中地区と三箇所で特別集会を開催してくださった。PCTは関係病院17持っていて、その多くが大病院で、医療を通して証と伝道されており、その医療活動が朝の礼拝を持って始め られていて感銘を受けた。新竹地区は教会であったが、他の二箇所は病院の大礼拝堂で特別集会がなされた。病院の職員の聖歌隊、教会の 聖歌隊、女声合唱団、アミン族の奇麗な民族衣装を着た聖歌隊等多彩な美しい讃美に感動した。特に日本で大ヒットした秋川雅史の「千の風 になってを女声合唱団が日本語で歌ってくださり驚いた東日本大震災の痛みの中にある日本と慰めようとする心が深 く現される特別集会であった。「NO NUKES No more Fukushima」の旗が一般の店で売られていて、私の 案内をしてくださった、PCT職員が買って私にプレゼントしてくださった。

 

台湾の原発は台北から30キロ~40キロに四基あり福島のような事故があると国の存在にかかわる事故となり、この深刻さは日本と同じだ。日本 の原発事故による子どもへの健康被害が深刻との話に共鳴してくださった。

3月31日の復活祭の礼拝にはPCTの全教会の信徒に献金袋がわたされ、東日本大震災被災の為に特別献金が呼びかけられた。

このように日本の悲しみと痛みに共鳴してくださり、教団の被災者支援に熱い祈りと支援をしてくださる台湾基督長老教会(PCT)に台湾語で最高の感謝の言葉である「ジンドウシャ」を繰り返し教団の思いをお伝えした。石橋秀雄教団議長